Station fire: Concrete barriers coming down in La Crescenta
They weren’t the most flattering addition to the neighborhood, and three years after the devastating Station fire the foothills of La Crescenta are bidding farewell to nearly half a mile of concrete barriers installed to guard against mudslides.
The K-rails, as they’re known, were put in place in La Crescenta and La Cañada Flintridge immediately after the fire burned more than 160,000 acres, incinerating trees and shrubbery on hillsides that typically kept mud from spilling into homes below during heavy rains.
Barriers in La Cañada Flintridge will stay put for at least for another year.
While some neighbors complained about the barriers, calling them eyesores that limited parking and drove down property values, others counted on them for protection. Some even decorated them with Halloween ornaments and Christmas lights.
“Now that the forest has had a few years to regenerate, we’ve determined the risk has diminished enough to take the K-rail out,” said Bob Spencer, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works.
The barriers will be removed within the next two weeks, with about 20% remaining as a precaution, he said.
In the time since the fire, Spencer said there were no major flooding incidents in La Crescenta. In La Cañada Flintridge, there was one episode in February 2010 that affected more than two dozen homes and nearly 30 cars.
-- Esmeralda Bermudez
Photo: Michael Seales and son Jack stand by K-rails to watch road crews scrape mud in La Crescenta in 2009 after the Station fire. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times